Comment history

Food stamp recipients pinched by high food prices

Multidisciplinary hits a big part of the problem - limited shopping options in low-income areas. Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed covers her experience with this problem, among others inherent in being low-income. I agree that some time outside Lawrence might be an eye-opener for some folks. For the urban poor, sometimes choosing the better of two bad choices is the best they can do. "Learning how to shop and watch for bargains" requires that there be some variety of places in which to shop. Redlining in urban areas is a real problem. I was involved with an urban redevelopment non-profit in Kansas City a few years back and one of the major issues in the neighborhoods we worked with at that time was literally no large grocery stores left in the northeast urban core. The Apple Market on Broadway was the nearest one - way too far to walk if you're without a car and transporting enough purchases to make the trip worth the bus or cabfare, and way too far to walk for just the perishable stuff you run out of on a regular basis. Add the problem of affordable child care - imagine making such a supply run from your affordable but store-less neighborhood with small children in tow -and maybe it becomes easier to understand why people might buy milk or bread at the more expensive mini-mart nearer home. Items like fresh produce are frequently not even available in such stores, which often stock mostly processed and prepared foods, or if they're lucky enough to have an ethnic market, they might be able to buy bulk rice, beans, etc. I can't imagine that with both food and transportaion prices steadily rising that things have gotten better for those folks, unless they finally managed to get some chain to open a store there. I don't live in the area anymore so I don't know. For more info on redlining: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redlining

May 18, 2008 at 2:44 a.m. ( | suggest removal )